innovative. INSPIRING.      Insightful.

  • Advisory Board: The Entrepreneurship Institute
  • Author of articles on various career management topics
  • Received an EFFIE award for advertising
  • Certified in the Hogan suite of leadership assessments, and several MRG assessment tools
  • Lead several networking groups for professionals in transition
  • Earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and psychology
  • Served as a Trustee on the Executive Committee of the Marketing Science Institute
  • Limited-edition achievement recognizing early members of Workfolio
  • Expert in career management, new product development, marketing research, and behavioral science
  • Instructs groups and individuals on career management and leadership development
  • Received one or more promotions within an organization
  • Endorsed by co-workers and clients
  • Speaks in front of audiences about corporate culture, leadership skills, personal agility, & careers
  • Managed diverse employee populations around the globe
  • Donates time to help job seekers and serves on volunteer community commission

Welcome to my website

Sharon Salling
I am now "gloriously retired" and enjoying life with fewer deadlines and more time to enjoy, explore and engage.  I will retain content on this website to help visitors actively manage their careers.  My next act continues...
I believe that career management is two parts art and one part science. It is an instinctive, dynamic process aimed at achieving performance goals and personal career fulfillment throughout the interesting journey we call a career.

I characterize myself as being in phase three of a multi-phase career. The initial phase, spent at consumer goods giants and major advertising agencies, built the foundation I needed to contribute to company goals and achieve my objectives. The second phase expanded my world into business-to-business solutions and information services, teaching me how to drink from the proverbial fire hose of fast changes in technology and increasing appetites for information to beat the competition. The third phase enables me to reach deeply into my career to help individuals and companies flourish through a deep and practical understanding of strategy, talent and values. And phase four? The future awaits... I am proud of being known as innovative and inspiring. Thanks go to my mentors and role models for helping me earn the right to say I am a leader and coach with a strategic, disciplined approach to business issues, using clear thinking and discerning decision making to effectively manage people and initiatives in top-tier multinational firms spanning industry sectors, including Consumer Goods, Advertising Agencies, Marketing Research, Marketing Services, Business to Business Information Services; and Talent and Career Management My toolkit includes expertise in numerous leadership assessment tools, including Myers-Briggs, Firo-B, Thomas Killman.  Certifications include: - Birkman First Look ®; - Hogan® Personality Inventory, Hogan® Development Survey, Hogan® Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory; - Management Research Group ® Strategic Leadership Development, Individual Directions Inventory and Leadership Effectiveness Analysis Strategic Directions™ My specialties include Leadership & Executive Coaching, Career Transition & Career Changers Coaching, Talent Management, Marketing & Research Services, Consumer Insights, New Product Development and Marketing Strategy. I hope the content of my website provides useful information and helpful hints... and over and above these practical elements I hope my musings and posts are intellectually provocative and interesting and lead you to think about career management in ways that are big, broad and enriching.

ProUdest Accomplishment

Developing talented young professionals into business stars

Experience Highlights

  • Principal Consultant, Executive Coach
    Right Management
  • Executive Vice President
    Millward Brown, division of WPP Group, LLP
  • Assistant Vice President, Corporate Officer
    The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation
  • Director Marketing Research
    Heublein Spirits & Wines
  • Research Director
    Mccann Erickson advertising
  • Chief Consumer Research Supervisor
    Procter & Gamble

Education Highlights

  • BA English, Psychology
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst Massachusetts
  • Executive Leadership Program
    American Management Association

Causes

  • Inlands Wetlands and Watercourses Commission
    Dedicated to preserving water quality, wildlife habitat and forest land

Interests

  • Antique Property Renovation
    The on-going saga of living in a house that is over 300 years old
  • Writing Semi-Fiction Stories
    Over 20 years and 20 stories taken from life. I call them "Unfinished Works"
  • Exotic Cooking
    Still attempting to master all those recipes collected in my travels around the world

Results

  • 2200+
    Individuals Coached
  • 100+
    Business Stars Mentored
  • 2
    'New to the World' Products Launched

Skills

  • Career Coaching
  • Consumer Insights
  • New Product Ideation
  • Brand Equity
  • Problem Solving
  • Public Speaking
  • virtual Facilitation
  • Leadership Assessment
  • Mentoring
  • Team Leadership
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Business Development
  • Workforce Solutions
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Advertising & Communication

ASk Sharon: career thoughts, tips and tales

Why did you choose your profession?
It actually chose me. Since the early days of my career I have been a mentor and manager. I have always been curious about why people behave in certain ways and gravitated to roles in which I could see people in many different environments facing many different decisions. I love the variety of roles I have held and all the incredibly interesting people I have known. New challenges, new ideas, new interactions... what could be better?
Who has influenced your career?
In my very first 'real' job I had a series of terrific role models: smart, strong women who were intellectually curious, independent thinkers, and thoroughly professional. We were all novices in the business world, traveling around the United States, frequently staying less than a week in one city, conducting consumer surveys for our employer and learning what it was like to see the world through the eyes of our customers. Every person I met, every consumer I interviewed, and every new situation enriched my life. Each encounter influenced me, and the women with whom I worked became my colleagues, my friends and my teachers; and I am forever grateful.
What career advice would you give to individuals just starting out in their careers?
Well, it depends... each individual has to find his or her true path to career success and personal fulfillment. There is no secret recipe for success. The first step is to listen to your instincts. If you have always dreamed about being a doctor, or you are intrigued by the thought of managing your own business, or you love the way it feels to create something on your own, or you are excited about teaching others things they never knew before, don't abandon that dream.

Make every effort to determine if you have the skills, the style, and the drive to give it a chance. Satisfying, successful careers are born from dreams and tempered with practicality. Sometimes the path to the dream meanders, but there are so many worthwhile adventures along the way.
What is the biggest mistake we make in terms of not managing our careers?
Letting our people networks get stale. Not everyone is a natural networker, and it is fairly common for job seekers who land a new position to stop building and maintaining their networks once they become reemployed. It is imperative to stay in touch with former colleagues and contacts, many of whom helped us secure our new roles, no matter how engrossed we become in our new positions. Networking should never be a low priority if we want to flourish and thrive in our careers.
What is the most important element of professional success?
Being self-aware. Today's business environment demands that we know ourselves to an extent never before experienced. Organizations screen applicants with an ever increasing battery of assessments, and the process continues after being hired. Employees are assessed both informally and formally; feedback is encouraged, two-way communication is fostered, managers are trained to have 'coaching' conversations with their direct reports, and everyone feels free to comment on everyone else's behavior and style. It is a brave new world in which the old saying 'perception is reality' has never been more accurate.
What is the most important part of a job seeker's communication strategy?
Employers assess their resource needs with an eye to recruiting the ‘best-fit’ talent at compensation levels that meet their expense management objectives. Articulating your personal brand and compelling value proposition remain your best advantages.
What do you like best about your work?
Hands down... helping job seekers regain their confidence and believe that they can continue to significantly contribute in the world of work.
Why is personal branding fundamental to successful career mobility?
Personal branding is the essence of how we want to be known. It's what makes each of us different and, in business, it's the value we bring to our organization, our collegues and our customers. It's a representation and communication of our own personal style, presence, characteristics, knowledge, values and outlook. It's not easy to capture one's essence in a few words, but it's absolutely worth the effort. Self-awareness and candor are fundamental to finding the right words. Persist, and when the chosen words ring true in your own ears, you'll be on the way to establishing a personal brand that will inform and attract employers and recruiters who are most likely to be the best fit for you and what you have to offer.
What is your own career strategy?

It's less of a strategy and more of an exciting journey. My approach is simple: seek out diverse challenges in dynamic cultures with respect for intellectual curiosity ... and dive in. Over the years I have learned that my true interests and the ways in which I add the most value to organizations are in the ideation, creation, and start-up phases of an initiative or an enterprise. So a fundamental underpinning of my journey is to do my best to avoid roles that require me solely to maintain the status quo with no possibility of having an 'aha' moment.

Although I recognize that all positions demand a certain amount of routine activity, for me, the best fit is an organization with challenging problems looking for someone (who is not totally mainstream) to propose some 'What if?' approaches as solutions. So far, it's working well, so I think I'll stick with it.

What is one of the biggest challenges in the workplace today?
Keeping up with the constant technology changes.
What are the top three characteristics of great business leaders?
As with great leaders in any aspect of life, great leaders in business possess and exhibit sound judgement, strong influence skills, and a truly inspirational presence.
What would you be doing if you weren't working?
I would be learning more: new languages, new skills, new ways of solving problems. I would be discovering and exploring more: new places, new people, new cultures. I would be mastering more new recipes and spending more time working on my 300+ year old house. I would especially be writing more stories.
What is the best career decision you ever made?

Accepting a job right out of college with Procter & Gamble. I learned about business, managing others and achieving results in an environment that encouraged intellectual curiosity, innovation and cutting edge technology, all driven by a total commitment to consumer research as a fundamental underpinning of corporate strategic direction.

What one or two key insights did you take away from last year?

Achieving individual and organizational goals is an increasingly complex process that more than ever requires astute observation, intuitive relationship skills and fearlessness in uncertain times.

What would you do differently in your career if you could go back in time?

I would accept the offer I received for a long-term international assignment outside the United States. Frequent global trips were great, but I missed the experience of being immersed in the local culture.

What is the most overlooked element of making a new job decision?

Intellectual curiosity. Too often both employers and candidates focus solely on specific position deliverables and do not think about the far greater value of someone who can help shape the future.

What's new in the world of work?

One of the most fundamental influences in the workforce today is the increasing use of independent workers in both project work and longer term strategic initiatives. As Boomers retire, the workforce is beginning a dramatic shrinkage, estimated to lead to a 50% reduction in the size of the workforce in ensuing years.  The war for talent is heating up and employers are already vocal about not being able to find the talent needed to conduct business. 

Has the job market improved?

Overall, job leads and interviews have increased but underemployment still persists as organizations continue to trim expenses. We are seeing multiple offers and more landings - great news.

Any advice that may surprise us?

Not precisely advice, rather an observation. As our world becomes more technology focused and e-interactive, I sense a reaction, a longing, for more personal, face to face human encounters. Perhaps the time has come to reinstate face to face meetings and to take the time to get up  from behind the computer to interact with colleagues and customers on a more personal level.  If we lose our ability to interact and instead retreat into one-way, sequential communication, we lose the essence of interpersonal relationships.

C A R E E R  M U S E  Blog

Gloriously Retired

I don't believe that many people wake up one morning and decide to retire. I think it is more often an evolving, iterative process of observing the days, assessing one's needs, becoming more keenly aware of the passage of time in ways that are a bit different from the previous times and arriving at a clear vision of what life has to offer and how best to continue to achieve one's goals and perhaps, if we are very lucky, one's dreams.

It happened to me that way.

After working for the...

Location

Greater New York City Area

Currently Seeking

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